For it stands in Scripture:”Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.“
Peter wrote his letter to encourage suffering saints in the first century, but this letter has proven to be of great encouragement to saints to this day. In the first few verses of chapter one, Peter tells his readers that they have been born again to a living hope, the hope of being raised from the dead and of receiving a heavenly inheritance. This hope is made sure by the resurrection of Christ from the dead, as our representative (1:3-5). The thought of seeing Christ and being with Him filled them with great joy, even in the midst of severe trials (1:8-9).
In this section (2:4-10), Peter further encourages the hearts of the believers by telling them, and us, of our corporate new covenant identity. He tells us that in coming to Christ, we become living stones in a spiritual house for God to dwell in; in addition to being the temple, we are also the priests who serve in that temple, offering up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Christ.
In verses 6-8, Peter comes back to the theme of Christ being the cornerstone, which he introduced in verse 4, to show that their hope is built on the solid foundation of Christ Himself and that they have the sure promise of God that “whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” He contrasts this with the sure judgment that would come on those who have rejected Christ. That rock of safety for the believer will be a rock of stumbling and an offense to the unbeliever.
In verses 9-10, Peter further shows us that our hope is sure, because it is based on God’s electing, redeeming, and keeping grace. He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world; He redeemed us and made us His own by spilling the precious blood of His Son for us; He then called us from darkness into His marvelous light by sending His Holy Spirit into our hearts. Is there anything that can thwart God’s plan of bringing us to glory? Absolutely not!
What is our response to all of this? Like the first century believers, we are to rejoice in the glorious hope of seeing Christ and being with Him; secondly, we are to “proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (:9b).